Friday, July 07, 2006

Beyond!

A new Marvel mini-series debuted this past week from Dwayne McDuffie and Scott Kolins called Beyond! It's a really fun premise: an ecclectic group of superheroes and supervillains are thrown together to try to survive a galactic experience which pits them against each other. Included in this group are Spider-Man, Medusa, Hank Pym, Wasp, Gravity, Firebird, The Hood, Kraven the Hunter, and Venom. A voice commands them to fight their enemies to receive whatever their heart desires, and of course, immediately, one of the villains attempts to indulge the voice. Then another villain decides he wishes to kill his enemy like the voice said anyway and causes trouble which causes another hero to join the fray...it's like watching dominos fall. Unfortunately, the entire first issue is like watching dominos fall. Nothing interesting or surprising really happens (especially the fake-out ending which no reader can believe to hold any weight). It's really like watching everything happen you expect to happen. Given the diverse cast of characters, that's a real shame and disappointment. But to go one step further, the story is seen through the eyes of Gravity (whose mini-series I've been meaning to check out for awhile now), who McDuffie decides to make the most obnoxious, arrogant and down-right unlikeable voice he can (I fail to believe that Sean McKeever created this character to be this abrasive). And really, several of the characters seem off: Spider-Man's in the room with fricking Venom and Kraven, for Christ's sake! Yet Gravity wakes up to find an extremely calm collective of people waiting for him to revive. And then comes a scene introducing the characters to the reader that was almost painful, with some of the worst dialogue I've ever read in a comic (next to the crap coming out of Gravity's mouth) as he gives face time to each character in turn. Interestingly enough, the character of Kraven is chosen to be the voice of reason among the group, but beyond that, this is one piece of uncreative crap. In another writer's hand, this could have been a lot of fun. As it is, however, it's merely cringe-worthy.

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